Thursday, August 31, 2006

Get Well Aunt Jan

I just want to take a moment to wish my Aunt Jan a speedy recovery. She recently found out she is ill and I just want to let her know that our thoughts and prayers are with her. Good luck with everything and I hope all goes well. I'm rooting for you over here across the pond.


Contacting Family

So I finally broke down and wrote an e-mail to the family, telling them about this little venture. I'm looking forward to seeing what they have to say. Thanks to my mom, and a couple other family members who happen to know about this, I'm interested to see the reaction.

I'm posting the e-mail I sent out here, just for reference:

Hi All;

I've been meaning to do this for several months now, but this is the first time I've gotten around to it.

As some of you may know, I've been working for many months now with some of our grandmother's jewelry. I decided to use some of her jewelry in a way that I thought would honor her memory; I'm making rosaries. I figured I'd make one rosary for each of the kids (Steve, Claire, Mary, Jan, who was the first recipient of one, my mom, and possibly Linda and Marilyn if they would like one) and one for each of the grandkids, which is a heck of a lot of rosaries, but that's o.k.

What I'd like is feedback on the project. If you'd like one, if you'd like to decline, if maybe you'd like to put a rosary on her gravestone or the uncle's grave stone instead, or if you have any other ideas. I'm open to whatever it is you want to do. I've created a website where you can see what I'm doing so far:

I'll post pictures of ones I made so far and I'll let people claim dibs to any one that they want. I've thought of this website not only as a way to share this project, but also as a way for us as family members to connect and keep in touch. I've always thought that grandma was the glue that held this family together. She was a our strength, and our hope, and with her gone, there's a little empty space that I hope to fill in part by making these rosaries and giving them to the family.

Sorry for getting a little sentimental there. Please check out the site and let me know if you're interested in having a rosary. And if there's anybody that you know I've left out of this e-mail do me a big favor and forward this e-mail to them. It's not my intention to leave anybody out, I'd like as many people included as possible, but I'm sure I don't have everyone's e-mails, so I'm reliant on all of you to spread the word.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards;

Tylia Gardner

If you're here because you just got my e-mail, Welcome! Take a look around. Let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The story of the pearls

Each time I talk to my mother about this project (who is reading this blog now, Hi Mom!), I gain inspiration and insight. Sometimes I get a little frustrated (it is usually with not having enough beads) or not motivated about this project, and then I talk to my mom, and she sounds so inspired, so pleased, that I keep up with it.

Yesterday she called me and she told me that she finally got to see this blog. She told me again that what I was doing was so wonderful and how proud of me she was. And then she told me something I did not know. The pearls I have from my grandmother's collection were actually a birthday gift my mother gave her.

(The photo taken in this blog post taken courtesy of Teena Marie.)

My heart leapt at this. It's comforting somehow that these strands of pearls have a family history that goes from my mother, to my grandmother and now to me. It's odd, but I like the fact that this just wasn't a trinket my grandmother bought for herself, but that it actually has a history that bridges generations. These pearls delicately link the three of us, and now I'm using them to connect with the rest of the family. This thought makes me happy, but it also makes me sad, knowing that I'll never know this necklace's story from my grandmother's perspective. That narrative is now lost to history. As are so many stories I longed for her to tell.

As I'm writing this, I have tears in my eyes. Tears of sadness, tears of comfort, but tears of joy, because even though she isn't here with us any more, her memory lives on. I'm still learning more about her, even now. I think there is some solice in that.

If anyone in the family has any stories about the gold flake beads as well, I'd love to hear them. I have a couple of other interesting pieces, a cross, a pendant, that I'd love to know more about. That's what I ultimately think this blog is about, keeping her memory, her stories alive.